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F-35 Fighter Jet Purchase

lenaitch

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^Wow, 2032 - that will be 50 years for our frontline air defence, yet politicians don't see this as problem. I tend to agree - either the fleet collapses, or we put them under glass or we simply can't get enough young pilots to want to fly them. We'll end up getting the US to do it and they will; when and how they see fit.

When you dig into the attachment and look at the projected replacement dates for every facet of the fleet, I want the Tremclad contract.
 

kEiThZ

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^Wow, 2032 - that will be 50 years for our frontline air defence, yet politicians don't see this as problem.
Unfortunately, national security is not something taken very seriously in Canada. It is what it is.

I tend to agree - either the fleet collapses, or we put them under glass or we simply can't get enough young pilots to want to fly them.
The whole point of the HEP project is to ensure that whatever the political machinations, we have a fleet that is combat capable well into the 2030s if necessary. This is the bureaucracy planning for (and covering up to a certain extent) political failure.
 

Admiral Beez

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I think the CF-18 replacement project may benefit from this election result. When the Libs want to do something defence related they can look to the Cons and something nanny-state related they can go to the Dippers. So, it looks like my fear that the Dippers would hold up the CF-18 project has not come to pass.

Now, will it be the F-35 or something cheaper and less capable? And when? Here's the first post-election media on the issue, though no mention of the election result.

 
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kEiThZ

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At this point, I'd worry less about the fighter replacement than some other major projects. The Army is in definition for a ground based air defence system and the Air Force is going to put out an RFP for an armed medium altitude UAV (ie. Predator/Reaper drones). These are just as important as the fighter replacement. And nobody knows where the parties stand on this.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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At this point, I'd worry less about the fighter replacement than some other major projects. The Army is in definition for a ground based air defence system and the Air Force is going to put out an RFP for an armed medium altitude UAV (ie. Predator/Reaper drones). These are just as important as the fighter replacement. And nobody knows where the parties stand on this.
There is precious little talk on foreign/defense policy in general - nobody want to be on record much for it (understandably).

I do think we need to take it seriously - it ain't roses and sunshine out there, and this isn't time for wishful thinking.

AoD
 

kEiThZ

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I do think we need to take it seriously - it ain't roses and sunshine out there, and this isn't time for wishful thinking.
It's kinda sad. The CAF is working hard to rebuild and reposition itself as a coalition partner against a resurgent Russia and China, in light of a retreating US. And that requires political support and even discussion on direction. Yet, no talk at all this election on where our foreign and defence policies should go.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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It's kinda sad. The CAF is working hard to rebuild and reposition itself as a coalition partner against a resurgent Russia and China, in light of a retreating US. And that requires political support and even discussion on direction. Yet, no talk at all this election on where our foreign and defence policies should go.
Maybe, maybe not - perhaps this is the type of thing that is best done with as little discussion as possible (if not for the fact that it will have budgetary impact). Can't expect the public to navigate foreign policy when they can't even navigate foreign disinformation.

AoD
 

lenaitch

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At this point, I'd worry less about the fighter replacement than some other major projects. The Army is in definition for a ground based air defence system and the Air Force is going to put out an RFP for an armed medium altitude UAV (ie. Predator/Reaper drones). These are just as important as the fighter replacement. And nobody knows where the parties stand on this.
Not to mention the needed upgrade to northern/perimeter surveillance, and perhaps a second interim AOR which we either need or don't need depending on who you ask.

Armed UAVs is likely going to be a political rough rider. Detractors will thump the 'bombing innocents from the comfort of a control room' and 'we don't do that' arguments. It shouldn't, but I think it will, given our traditional political timidity.

One angle to address a more 'economical' approach would be for SAAB to partner with Viking to offer to build some/all Gripens here. It could throw money at western Canada. I'm not saying it would work or necessarily be a good idea, but we have a good history of that. I don't think the F-35 supplier contracts would be immediately affected by selecting something else; that way I understand it, those contracts are with the US government, not M-D. There may well be longer term impacts, however.

Actually, I'm not expecting much of anything on the defence front, certainly in the near term. There are few if any votes in it for anybody and it's not on the public radar (no pun intended). Even throwing a bone to Davie will have to be considered in the east-west, Quebec-Alberta, calculus.
 

Admiral Beez

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Armed UAVs is likely going to be a political rough rider. Detractors will thump the 'bombing innocents from the comfort of a control room' and 'we don't do that' arguments. It shouldn't, but I think it will, given our traditional political timidity
Intel gathering and border watch are sufficient IMO.

Armed drones in the arctic probably aren't necessary.

 

lenaitch

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Intel gathering and border watch are sufficient IMO.

Armed drones in the arctic probably aren't necessary.

Pure intel and border surveillance? Then let CSE and CBSA buy them. I know it is anathema to many Canadians, but the CAF is, at the end of the day, a war-fighting service, and have to prepared for that in a contemporary and effective way.
 

Admiral Beez

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I know it is anathema to many Canadians, but the CAF is, at the end of the day, a war-fighting service,
True. At least the recruiting commercials now show simulated combat or at least live fire.


The ads from a few years ago focused on domestic disaster relief and foreign aid. Or even worth, this goofy twaddle.

 

kEiThZ

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One angle to address a more 'economical' approach would be for SAAB to partner with Viking to offer to build some/all Gripens here. It could throw money at western Canada. I'm not saying it would work or necessarily be a good idea, but we have a good history of that. I don't think the F-35 supplier contracts would be immediately affected by selecting something else; that way I understand it, those contracts are with the US government, not M-D. There may well be longer term impacts, however.
I have explained this here a few times before. If you talk to Canadian industry, they don't want assembly work. That's low skill, low profit, low wage work that is not sustainable. The line closes up after the contract and the company is gone.

A lot of our defence and aerospace sector is not composed of highly specialized component makers. They make aircraft structural parts, engine parts, avionics, mission systems, etc. Many are leaders in their field. Think of what CAE does with simulators. Or CMC Esterline with cockpit avionics. Or Wescam with EO/IR turrets. What they want is for the big OEMs to include them in their global supplier chains so that their products can be sold for a full production run. It's extremely frustrating to them that so many Canadians (and our politicians) only think of only wrench turning low wage, low profit works. Some want their products to be part of the OEM's fighter program (F-35, Gripen, etc.) . Some want the government to use the fighter contract to get them work on other platforms. For example, Wescam can't do much on a fighter jet. But they'd be quite happy to have Lockheed put one their EO/IR balls on every single V-280 the US Army buys for the Future Vertical Lift program. That one example alone is worth more than the wrench turning gigs from 80 Gripens put together in a hangar somewhere.

Intel gathering and border watch are sufficient IMO.

Armed drones in the arctic probably aren't necessary
They aren't going to be armed domestically. The desire to arm them is for theatres like Libya and Afghanistan where persistent close air support costs >$20-30k per flight hour with fast jets. The drones are much cheaper.
 

lenaitch

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I have explained this here a few times before. If you talk to Canadian industry, they don't want assembly work. That's low skill, low profit, low wage work that is not sustainable. The line closes up after the contract and the company is gone.

A lot of our defence and aerospace sector is not composed of highly specialized component makers. They make aircraft structural parts, engine parts, avionics, mission systems, etc. Many are leaders in their field. Think of what CAE does with simulators. Or CMC Esterline with cockpit avionics. Or Wescam with EO/IR turrets. What they want is for the big OEMs to include them in their global supplier chains so that their products can be sold for a full production run. It's extremely frustrating to them that so many Canadians (and our politicians) only think of only wrench turning low wage, low profit works. Some want their products to be part of the OEM's fighter program (F-35, Gripen, etc.) . Some want the government to use the fighter contract to get them work on other platforms. For example, Wescam can't do much on a fighter jet. But they'd be quite happy to have Lockheed put one their EO/IR balls on every single V-280 the US Army buys for the Future Vertical Lift program. That one example alone is worth more than the wrench turning gigs from 80 Gripens put together in a hangar somewhere.



They aren't going to be armed domestically. The desire to arm them is for theatres like Libya and Afghanistan where persistent close air support costs >$20-30k per flight hour with fast jets. The drones are much cheaper.
But the capability needs to be there. I believe the IAI Heron that we leased in Afghanistan were unarmed and incapable of such. I think many don't realize the Cyclone and Aurora are both capable of air-launching torpedoes.
 

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